Reports for Tuesday Sept. 28 and Wednesday, Sept 29

prepared by Sam Low

Wednesday, Sept 29 2:28 p.m.: Weather clearing. 60 percent clear skies. Seas calming down. All sails set, and making good progress in the direction we want to go. Everyone is well.

Tuesday Sept. 28, Sunset: Hokule'a continues east under a dark sky that offers no celestial clues to direction, buffeted by fast moving squalls. (Squalls are windstorms, with strong gusts of wind; they can damage the canoe by pulling down the mast, breaking a spar, or ripping a sail. When a dangerously looking squall approaches, the crew will close the sails and wait it out. Squalls at night make navigation difficult, as the seas and swell patterns get confused and clouds and rain hid the sky.) Nainoa decides to wait for moonrise to provide a secure sign to steer by, but rain and clouds are so thick, the moon never appears. The crews of the escort boat and canoe endure a long night, alternately raising and taking in sails as the vessels contend with roiling, temptuous seas.

Wednesday Sept. 29, Sunrise: A gray dawn breaks to reveal squalls all around the horizon and Hokule'a hove to under bare masts . It's cold and damp, but the wind is clocking around to the W, a sign that the front may be passing us, moving to the east. The crew waits for the weather to reveal its intentions. By 4:40 HST Hokule'a opens its sails, and under clearing skies, with wind veering around to the SW, continues her voyage to the east toward Rapa Nui.

Navigator Estimates

September 28, 6 p.m.

Average Speed: 6.5 knots

Heading: La malanai (E by S)

Distance travelled in last 12 hours: 78 miles

Net miles to the east (minus west-flowing current): 74 miles

Distance to Rapa Nui: 562 miles

Estimated Latitude at 6 p.m.: 26 degrees 15 ' S

September 29, 6 a.m.

Hokule'a spent the majority of the night hove to. The canoe sailed a little, but any progress to the east was negated by the west-flowing current. Estimated Latitude at 6 a.m.: 26 degrees 15 ' S. The front that went through last night was a routine passage. We experienced squalls, and after the squalls, the wind turned North, then West, now South. Because the canoe does not handle well sailing downwind (with the wind behind the canoe from the west as the canoe sails east) we decided to heave to during the night.

For back reports on the leg to Rapa Nui, go to Rapa Nui Back Reports

For more information on the leg to Rapa Nui, go to The Mangareva-to-Rapa Nui Page

For more information on the quest for Rapa Nui, go to the PVS Homepage